Located just north of the Bavarian Alps on the River Isar, Munich is truly a stunning sight - both naturally and architecturally. In fact, it seems that no matter where you turn in the city, there's something truly remarkable to see.
At the centre of Munich, for instance, is Marienplatz - a large, open square which houses the New Town Hall. But perhaps even more spectacular than the square itself is the Rathaus-Glockenspiel - a famous, ornate clock with life-sized moving figures. At 11 AM every day, the clock chimes and re-enacts two sixteenth century stories to the crowds below: the first is a scene from a medieval jousting tournament, while the second is a performance of the famous "Schäfflertanz" - roughly translated as the "Barrel-makers' dance".
But while the streets of Munich are laden with beautiful sights, a visit to the city's host of impressive museums and art galleries is certainly worthwhile. The Deutsches Museum, for instance, which is located on an island in the Isar, is one of the oldest and largest science museums in the world. Other popular museums and galleries in the city include: the Alte Pinakothek gallery, the Munich City Museum, the Bavarian National Museum and the BMW Museum. And if you enjoy the performing arts, you'll also take delight in the operas, ballets, musicals and orchestras of spectacular city venues such as the Nationaltheater, Gärtnerplatz Theatre, Deutsche Theater and Residenz Theatre - the last of which is home to the world-renowned Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra.
If you're ever looking to take a break from the hustle and bustle of the city, you'll find that Munich's many parks provide a perfect retreat. The Englischer Garten, for example, is one of the world's largest urban public parks and contains jogging tracks and bridle-paths for locals and visitors to enjoy. Other green spaces include: Olympic Park, Hofgartenand, Hirschgarten, Ostpark and the parks of the stunning Nymphenburg and Schleissheim palaces. And if you're traveling to Munich with children, the city's zoological park, Tierpark Hellabrunn, is guaranteed to offer a fun and memorable experience for all.
But if there's one thing that Munich is particularly famous for, it's the local beer breweries; it's therefore fitting that the largest beer festival in the world - Oktoberfest - takes place annually within the city. In fact, the festival attracts so many tourists that about 30 per cent of the year's beer production by Munich's breweries is consumed in just two weeks at Oktoberfest! This year's Oktoberfest festival will take place from 22 September - 7 October, and will feature beer gardens hosting some of Munich's most famous breweries; among the most popular are Hofbräu, Löwenbräu and Augustiner. The festival is also an ideal time to sample Munich's culinary specialties: try Munich's famous Weißwürste ("white sausages"), traditionally served with sweet mustard and a freshly baked pretzel - it's bound to go well with a stein of Bavarian beer! Or why not sample the popular Bavarian apple strudel with vanilla sauce? However, rest assured that no matter what time of year you visit Munich, you'll be able to take advantage of such delectable delights.
If you're planning a trip to Munich, you'll find plenty of Munich hotels located near the city's top attractions. And if you're considering attending this year's Oktoberfest, it's always best to book your Munich hotel early. But even if you decide to travel to Munich outside of its festival season, remember to sit down with a stein - or perhaps a few - of the local beer.